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Samuel(novelistButler (1835 – 1902)


British satirist, best known for his novels Erewhon and The Way of All Flesh.
Samuel(novelistButler
We are so far identical with our ancestors and our contemporaries that it is very rarely we can see anything that they do not see. It is not unjust that the sins of the fathers should be visited upon the children, for the children committed the sins when in the persons of their fathers.
Butler quotes
They [my thoughts] are like persons met upon a journey; I think them very agreeable at first but soon find, as a rule, that I am tired of them.
Butler
As a general rule philosophy is like stirring mud or not letting a sleeping dog lie. It is an attempt to deny, circumvent or otherwise escape from the consequences of the interlacing of the roots of things with one another.




Every one should keep a mental waste-paper basket and the older he grows the more things he will consign to it — torn up to irrecoverable tatters.
It is the manner of gods and prophets to begin: "Thou shalt have none other God or Prophet but me." If I were to start as a God or a prophet I think I should take the line: "Thou shalt not believe in me. Thou shalt not have me for a God. Thou shalt worship any d_____d thing thou likest except me." This should be my first and great commandment, and my second should be like unto it.
Samuel(novelistButler quotes
Heaven is the work of the best and kindest men and women. Hell is the work of prigs, pedants and professional truth-tellers. The world is an attempt to make the best of both.
Samuel(novelistButler
Argument is generally waste of time and trouble. It is better to present one’s opinion and leave it to stick or no as it may happen. If sound, it will probably in the end stick, and the sticking is the main thing.
Honesty consists not in never stealing but in knowing where to stop in stealing, and how to make good use of what one does steal.
Butler
A man’s friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage—but they are also no less invalidated by the marriage of his friends.
Moral influence means persuading another that one can make that other more uncomfortable than that other can make oneself.
Samuel(novelistButler
To die completely, a person must not only forget but be forgotten, and he who is not forgotten is not dead.




Samuel(novelistButler quotes
It does not matter much what a man hates provided he hates something.
Samuel(novelistButler
If we are asked what is the most essential characteristic that underlies this word, the word itself will guide us to gentleness, to absence of such things as brow-beating, overbearing manners and fuss, and generally to consideration for other people.
Butler quotes
Words are like money; there is nothing so useless, unless when in actual use.
Intellectual over-indulgence is the most gratuitous and disgraceful form which excess can take, nor is there any the consequences of which are more disastrous.
They say the test of this [literary power] is whether a man can write an inscription. I say “Can he name a kitten?” And by this test I am condemned, for I cannot.
Samuel(novelistButler
Taking numbers into account, I should think more mental suffering had been undergone in the streets leading from St George’s, Hanover Square, than in the condemned cells of Newgate.
Samuel(novelistButler quotes
After having spent years striving to be accurate, we must spend as many more in discovering when and how to be inaccurate.
Samuel(novelistButler
How is it, I wonder, that all religious officials, from God the Father to the parish beadle, should be so arbitrary and exacting.
We are not won by arguments that we can analyse, but by tone and temper, by the manner which is the man himself.


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